Andrew Michalski's interest in genetic diversity extends beyond seeds to farm livestock. He raises rare, heritage breeds of sheep and cattle on his farm and sees the survival of these breeds dependent on finding a profitable purpose through niche marketing.
Upper Canada Mercantile, a member of the Upper Canada Fibreshed (UCFS), set out to create a blanket that would represent the land, climatic and human based interactions that make a product unique. The fabrication of these soft wool blankets depends on a wide range of talent and resources within our Fibreshed, from shearing to processing and weaving—an excellent example of what Fibresheds are all about.
“We are working here with an age-old concept,” says Chris Boettcher. “All enterprises on the farm work in concert to make up a whole, which is bigger than the sum of the parts. The more diversity we add to the farm as an ecosystem, the easier it seems to get—managing the individual players in the symphony.”
Sheep fit well into many farm operations. If self-sufficiency and sustainability are your goals, raising sheep has many advantages.